Diary 3, the adventures continues.
It is a route even further east from San Miguel, but the scenery is quite familiar at first. We passes La Union and head straight to the Playa Playitas, which is a little fishing village with a perfect beach. We walk together, and see the small fishing boats on the beach, and visit a guy, having the most fantastic location on the cliffs, right next to the beach. It offers a great view over the bay and the large volcanoes in the bay - and expensive lunch. We skip the latter, but enjoy the first.
Then we head back to La Union for another walk and lunch. It is a rather big town, and the central square is being renovated behind the tin-plates. Considering he speak perfect Spanish, I'm a bit baffled about I manages to get a vegetarian dinner way faster than he get an ordinary. I get kind of fried rice, brown beans and a salad-mix with bananas, broccoli, letish and a few other things. He get a flat toast.
Here is a huge, new city market hall, and all the shops outside sell the exactly same 20 different types of small backpacks for children. Must be school-start around here. I am running a bit late, and we departs. I have a drive through the green mountains to get to Playa El Coco. I stop only a few times, to make photos of the deep, green canyons and some cows on a plain, yellow field.
Intipuca is yet another perfect beach, and I have it all to myself. A single restaurant is found next to the lagoon, and they might get visitors from the towns in the weekends. I find a few shells on a long walk, but nothing else. A flock of Brown Pelicans flies over me, and I get the usual blurry pictures. A few fishing boats are drown long up to the beach, but here are no fishermen. I find a single hermit-crab, and I win the patience competition.
50 kilometres down the coast, I find another beach; Playa El Coco. I crosses the mangrove on a bridge, but looking at the sticky mud from above, is enough today. It is pretty much the same story, and now I am running real late, as I have almost 200 kilometres to my next planned bed. However, I can find one along the road. I follow the southern coast, although inland. The GPS estimate I should reach it at dusk, but is forget the cane-trains, farmer-johns and mopeds. Not to forget a couple of larger congested towns.
It is in general lowland I drive through, offering little but cattle and cane. Well, some great views to huge and steep volcanoes too. When the sun sets, the evening sky is lighted up in orange. (I then read it is caused by the huge fires in Australia). Then it turns dark black. I still have half an hours drive, and can't be bothers to find another hotel and restaurant. I know where I'm going, as I been at Playa El Tunco before.
I drive straight to the well hidden hotel, but they are out of dorm-beds. Well, I can pay twice that much for a triple room, all to my self. I head down-town (the other alley), and find a torta; a sandwich with vegetable fillings. The little village and the restaurants are way more busy, than last I was here. The evening offers some harsh winds, and I kind of hope for rain: My car could do with some cleaning, before a mountain-farmer plow it. The internet is immensely slow, and I give up seeing Dakar this evening. And I forgot the hotel didn't provide towels at all. Can't figure why they want their guests using pillow encasings.... La Unión, Playa Playitas and Intipuca the south coast in general.
8/1. I have no specific plans for the day, but relaxing. I start with a stroll along the beach. The mangrove lures me in, and I get a cup of tea, while I watch the mangrove-trees and 12 different species of birds, living here. Then I continues along the perfect beach, watch the few fishermen and some surfers, desperately trying to catch a wave. A few crabs are too slow, and I get a picture.
Back at base 10;30, and I start to feel the cabin fever. Relaxing is just not my thing. I give the car a much needed clean-up inside, but fail to find water for the outside... Then I head into the nearest little town; Puerto de La Libertad. It is a little busy fishing village, with a huge pier. Here the catch of the day is sold at small stalls near the coast, and on the boats further out. Well, some is not the catch of the day, but salted or dried.
A huge foot-court have been build along the shore in the middle of town, and it might be real busy at weekends. Now, it is almost dead. On the other side of the road, I find a few roads, filled with shops at any size. Behind them, the crammed marked is found. I find a barber and get a short cut.
A little restaurant in the back of town is making some sandwiches with A LOT of fresh vegetables and some pickled. I get one with extra plants, before she add the animal. It is real hard to eat civilized, but it taste real good. Along with a fresh pineapple juice, I pay less than $2. Despite I take my time, I'm back in El Tunco before two, and start working.
Another stroll along the great beach, a cup of coffee
at the lagoon and home to catch-up on Dakar Race. Head back to town a bit
early for dinner, but I rather have it before they
Well, apparently, they closes before five... I find another restaurant,
serving a vegetarian burger,
and the location is perfect for the sunset.
9/1. This is my last day with the car, but I won't miss my "Rancheros" breakfast and the sunrise in the mangrove. Then I set the GPS for volcano Quezaltepeque, right outside San Salvador, in the national park of El Boquerón. It is a fairly short drive, but nice.
I can drive almost to the 1893 meter top, and a short walk on a path, flanked by nice flowering (African) plants, bring me to the top. Within this huge crater, another little cone is found. I try to see some more of the surounding national park; El Boquerón, but a lot of policemen and alike, won't let me. Either something have happened here, or they expect visit from someone, who is something.
My next sight is the botanical garden; Jardin Botanico La Laguna. It is not only open, it is a nice little garden, and here are many nametags. I see it all, including the iguanas, agoutis, swamp turtles and fish. A cup of coffee at one of the lakes, and I head around town to leave my bag at the hotel. Then I pass town right through the centre, and return the car. A local bus bring me back to the centre of San Salvador, and I spend the afternoon walking around here.
As a prank, I buy a car: A little plastic one, in a bag with three. I give the other two cars to a little guy, and Karma bites me in the but, right away: My 32 GB memory stick with all my music had crawled into the bag, and he get my music as well. Then I have to listen to accordion music for 40 days!!! I'm home at dusk, and finish up El Salvador. Quezaltepeque, Jardin Botanico La Laguna and San Salvador
10/1. I thought I had a 8;00 bus for Guatemala City, and get up early, after a bad night's sleep. Then I turns out, it is a 14;00 bus now. Back to sit at the hotel for some time, making corrections to the former diaries. At noon, I got the cabin-fever again, and head out to find lunch: A whole plate with salsa, cheese, mixed salad, and some avocados for $1,25, and it is a nice restaurant. Well, not as nice as the café that sell me a chai-latte and a slice of a cake for $7,50. I stay put, till it is time to find the bus.
I get to the Guatemala border at five, and the city at eight, but read about that in the diary from Guatemala.
EL SALVADOR have been a great experience. I only driven 1434 kilometres myself, but I fell I have covered the little country well. I have taken 2060 photos HIGHLIGHTS, and in general had a great time. Here are so many nice mountains, covered in plants, smiling faces in villages and towns, and especially Suchitoto town and the little mangrove in El Tunco are adorable, while the pyramid of Tazumal is great. I have spend less money than I had expected: